With and Without Galton: Vasilii Florinskii and the Fate of Eugenics in Russia
(Open Book Publishers, 2018), Professor Nikolai Krementsov
’s recent history of Russian eugenics, reflects on a broad problem: How to acknowledge what eugenics movements worldwide have had in common, while doing justice to local differences that, for example, make the late Victorian eugenics of Francis Galton comparatively quite different from Russian eugenicists of the same period. Krementsov takes this story from the 1860’s to the present day, and in so doing, provides a fascinating analysis of the vicissitudes of Russian attempts to improve the human species. This history is of the utmost relevance for the present day. Eugenics is neither gone nor forgotten, and Krementsov’s account does much to explain why that is the case.
The book is open source, so it can be downloaded for free here
Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.